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What will you feed your newborn? Mother’s milk or the artificial baby milk commonly called formula? Many factors will affect your decision. While many healthy, full-term babies grow adequately on formula, it is an incomplete, inferior food when compared to human milk, which is perfectly suited to your baby and is what nature intends. Here are several benefits of breastfeedingto consider:
- Breastfeeding is best for your baby's health.
- Breastfeeding is good for mothers' health.
- Breastfeeding is less expensive.
- Breastfeeding brings infants and mothers closer.
- Breastfeeding is relaxing.
Breastfeeding is Best for Your Baby's Health
Formula does not provide any of the disease-protective factors present in human milk. Statistically, when compared to breastfed infants, artificially fed infants are generally sicker and sick more often. They are three to four times more likely to have an ear infection or diarrhea and ten times more likely to be admitted to a hospital for bacterial infections.
Failure to breastfeed is also one of three risk factors believed to contribute to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and increases the risk for some immune-system diseases in adulthood. All this is why the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants be breastfed for at least one year.